A Comparison of the Antimicrobial Activities of Cultivated Echinacea angustifolia (Purple Coneflower) versus Wild E. angustifolia
Medicinal plants have been have been used for centuries to treat various diseases across the world. While plant extracts have been used to synthesize modern commercial drugs, so far only a small percent of traditionally prescribed plant medicines have been studied for their therapeutic value. In recent years, the American public has become enamored with herbal remedies, yet there continues to be a relative scarcity of scientific research. Echinacea (purple coneflower) has received global attention because of its potential for medicinal value. Extensive laboratory and clinical research on Echinacea angustifolia in the last few years in Germany has confirmed its immunostimulatory, antiviral, and antibacterial benefit to humans. The purpose of this study is to use the agar-well diffusion method to compare antimicrobial activity of cultivated and wild E. angustifolia. We hypothesize that cultivated E. angustifolia will show more antimicrobial activity against five different strains of bacteria (two Gram-negative, three Gram-positive) due to being cultivated under ideal conditions.
Shannon Dunham, J.P. Holmes, and Jeremy E. Guinn
Environmental Science Department, United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND 58504
In fall 2012, students and faculty at United Tribes Technical College began to observe increasing signs of coyotes (Canis latrans) on campus. These observations included hearing howls and yips while shooting hoops on the basketball court in the evening, seeing tracks in the mud next to the door of classroom buildings, and watching a coyote hunt in the field outside through the ecology classroom window while class was in session. This spurred one student, Andrew Montriel (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), into action. For his semester research project, he conducted a preliminary track study of coyote presence in public use areas around Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota during spring 2013 and pushed for further study of urban coyotes in the area. His recommendations coincided with increasing coyote populations in state wildlife surveys (Tucker 2012) and led to the funding of a larger investigation that has become known as the UTTC Urban Coyote Study. Since then, more than 100 students have been involved in some aspect of the study and data has been incorporated into Problem-based Learning modules (AIHEC WIDER grant) at the college (NIH INBRE NARCH and NSF TCUP grant) and K-12 level (NSF RET grant), integrating research into the curriculum of several degree programs.